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alaskan food

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Alaska fruit growers are a generous bunch. Ira Edwards is known around Alaska as an avid outdoorsman who fishes, hunts, cycles, and skis—these days from a wheelchair or other adaptive gear. What people may not know is that he’s also an avid gardener and fruit grower. Edwards believes in community and among his many passions, he teaches kids with disabilities to ski and is establishing apple orchards at local schools. Through an Alaska Community Forestry Program grant, he grafted 100 baby trees two years ago and then partnered with the Trailside Elementary PTA in Anchorage to plant the trees on school grounds last year. “The end goal is apples for kids and then apples for everyone,” Edwards said. The apple harvest, still 10 years down the road, will be donated to local food banks.

Founders of a community supported fishery After Micah Hahn and Ben Tietge moved to Alaska in summer 2017, Tietge bought a boat and started commercial fishing in the Copper River Delta and Prince William Sound. 2019 was their second season operating the Copper Valley Fish Collective, which allows consumers to cut out the middle man and purchase their fish directly from Hahn and Tietge. Buyers can select at the beginning of the season how many pounds of salmon they want, essentially reserving a portion of the catch, which is then shipped at the end of the season. ~as told to and edited by Alexander Deedy Alaska: Can we start with a little background on yourselves? MH: I’ll start. We moved up to Alaska in the summer of 2017. Ben had been salmon fishing before then, but he decided he wanted to make it his profession. I have a background in…